Armenian Catholic Church

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Armenian Catholic Church
Latin Ecclesia Catholica Armena ,
Armenian Հայ Կաթողիկէ Եկեղեցի Hay Kat'oġikē Ekeġec'i

Armenian Catholic Church emblem

Basic data
Jurisdiction status Patriarchal Church
rite Armenian rite
Liturgical language Armenian
Establishment date November 26, 1742
Country of origin Armenia
Seat Patriarchate of Cilicia ( Bzommar Monastery )
Hierarch Patriarch-Catholicos Krikor Bedros XX.
Jurisdictions 18th
Believers 566,000
Bishops 16
Parishes 98
Diocesan priest 56
Religious priest 41
Permanent deacons 6th
Friars 61
Religious sisters 71
Stand 2013

The Armenian Catholic Church ( Armenian Հայ Կաթողիկե Եկեղեցի Hay Kat'oġikē Ekeġec'i ) is the Eastern Catholic Church of the Armenian Rite . It forms the branch of the Armenian Catholicate of Sis in Cilicia united with the Pope of Rome .


Bzommar Monastery
Interior view of the formerly Armenian Resurrection Cathedral in Stanislaw , Ukraine

The Catholic of the Armenian Apostolic Church in the Kingdom of Lesser Armenia was first on friendly terms with the Roman Catholic Church from 1198 until its fall in 1375 . The church union was renewed in 1439 following the Council of Florence , but only lasted longer in Kaffa in the Crimea.

Relations between the two churches were resumed under Pope Pius IV and Catholicos Michael I of Etschmiadzin ( Greater Armenia ). In 1563 the Armenians in Rome received the church of Santa Maria Egiziana. In the period that followed, Rome with its two tombs of the Apostles became a popular pilgrimage destination for Armenians and a place of refuge during persecution, especially for Armenian monks, priests and bishops with a Catholic mind. 1713 appointed Pope Clement XI. Archbishop Krikor von Edessa (Catholic Etschmiadzin), who fled to Rome, became the Armenian auxiliary bishop in Rome. In this capacity he received steady successors until the middle of the 20th century. In 1717 the mechitarists found a home on the island of San Lazzaro near Venice.

In the Armenian diaspora in the 17th century there were unions of smaller groups with Rome, especially in Galicia ( Lemberg , 1635) and Transylvania .

As the number of Armenian Catholic Christians continued to increase in the Ottoman Middle East , in 1740 the Catholic-minded Armenian Archbishop Abraham Ardzivian of Aleppo became the (counter) Catholicos of the Little Armenian Catholicate of Cilicia (seat until 1915: Sis near Adana ) choose. In 1742 he received the pallium in Rome from Pope Benedict XIV. The Armenian Catholic " Patriarchs of Cilicia " (official name: Petrus, Bedros), initially not recognized by the Ottoman state , finally took their seat in the Bzommar monastery near Beirut in Lebanon, which was founded in 1749 and had ecclesiastical jurisdiction only in the southern part of the Ottoman Empire (Cilicia, Syria, Mesopotamia, Palestine and Egypt).

For the Armenian-Catholic community in and around Constantinople (Istanbul) a special vicariate was set up in 1759 at the local Apostolic (= papal) delegate. In civil law matters, including baptism, marriage and funeral, all Catholic Armenians continued to be subordinate to the Armenian Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople until the Ottoman state recognized a "Katolik millet" in 1829. In relation to the state, this was represented by a patrician , initially an elected priest without the rank of bishop. The ecclesiastical jurisdiction, however, lay with an Armenian-Catholic " Archbishop-Primate of Constantinople ", who under Pope Pius IX. received five suffragan dioceses .

With the bull Reversurus Pope Pius IX. from 1867 the Armenian Catholic Church Province of Constantinople was united with the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate of Cilicia, the patriarchal seat was moved from Bzommar to Istanbul and occupied by Anton Hasun .

Under Popes Pius IX. (Bulle Reversurus ) and Pius X. there were considerable disputes within the church over the question of the involvement of lay people in the appointment of bishops. In this context, with the appointment of opposing patriarchs (Hagop Bathiarian, Hovhannes Kupelian ), an intra-Catholic schism arose in 1870 , which was not until 1879/80 Pope Leo XIII. knew how to heal. Other clergymen, including the respected Malachia Ormanian , converted to the Armenian Apostolic Church .

After the persecution of the Armenians before and during World War I , in which the Armenian Catholic Church lost tens of thousands of believers, 130 priests and seven bishops, the patriarchate was resettled in Bzommar in 1922/28 .

In present-day Armenia , an Armenian-Catholic community did not emerge until the 19th century through refugees from the Ottoman Empire.


Today the Armenian Catholic Church has around 500,000 believers in 15 dioceses or missions. They are served by more than 100 priests and 125 nuns. Until his death on June 25, 2015, Patriarch- Catholicos Nerses Bedros XIX was the head. He resided in the Bzommar Monastery (Lebanon). On July 24, 2015, he was succeeded by the emeritus Bishop of the Armenian Catholic Church in France, Kirikor Bedros XX. Ghabroyan elected.

Eparchies and Dioceses

Most of the Catholic Armenians live in the states of the Middle East. There is also a large diaspora in North America, which has its own eparchy . In 1991 an ordinariate for Catholic Armenians was founded with its seat in Gyumri (Armenia), which was later expanded to include Georgia and Eastern Europe. Furthermore, there since 1710, the archeparchy Aleppo in Syria , since 1850, the Eparchy of Isfahan in Iran , since 1885 the eparchy Iskanderiya for Egypt , since 1925 the Ordinariate Greece , since 1928 the archeparchy Istanbul , since 1929, the Archdiocese of Beirut , since 1954 the archeparchy Baghdad in Iraq , since 1960 the eparchy of Sainte-Croix-de-Paris , since 1989 the eparchy of San Gregorio de Narek in Buenos Aires and since 1981 the exarchate of Latin America and Mexico .

The diocese in Lviv , founded in 1630 and formerly 5,000 believers , was wiped out after the Second World War and today only has around 20 to 30 members. The Armenian Catholic Church in Austria , founded around 1810, today has around 250 members.

Independent parishes

There are the following independent parishes of the Armenian Catholic Church:

Religious orders

The Armenian Catholic Church is home to three patriarchal religious orders, including:


The liturgy of the Armenian Catholic Church follows the Armenian Rite . The liturgical language itself is Armenian . After the Second Vatican Council , a liturgical reform was carried out with the aim of eliminating special Armenian Catholic developments and reducing differences to the Armenian Apostolic mother church.

Full professor for the Armenians in Rome

The following bishops of the Armenian Catholic Church were "Ordinarius of the Armenians in Rome":

See also


  • Peter Halfter: The Papacy and the Armenians in the Early and High Middle Ages. From the first contacts to the fixation of the church union iJ. 1198 . Böhlau, Cologne 1996. ISBN 3-412-15395-8
  • Cesare Santus; L'accoglienza e il controllo dei pellegrini orientali a Roma. (L'ospizio armeno di Santa Maria Egiziaca (XVI-XVIII sec.)) . In: Mélanges de l'École française de Rome - Moyen Âge 131.2 (2019) 447–459.
  • Gabriella Uluhogian: Abraham Petros Ardzivian, primo patriarca armeno-cattolico . In: Studi e Ricerche sull'Oriente Cristiano 6.1 (1983) 3-17.
  • Nerses M. Setian: Gli Armeni cattolici nell'impero ottomano. Cenni storico-giuridici (1680-1867) . Don Bosco, Roma 1992.
  • Boghos Levon Zekiyan: Armenians and the Vatican during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Mekhitar and the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate, The challenge of Mechitarian ecumenism and Latin-Roman loyalty , in: Het Christelijk Oosten, 52 (2000) 251-267.
  • Gregorio Hoffmann: II vicariato Apostolico di Constantinopoli (1453-1830) (Orientalia Christiana Analecta 103). Roma 1935.
  • Hovhannes J. Tcholakian: L'église arménienne catholique en Turquie . Ohan Matbaacilik, Istanbul 1998.
  • John Whooley: The Armenian Catholic Church: A Study in History and Ecclesiology. In: Heythrop Journal 45 (2004) 416-434, doi : 10.1111 / j.1468-2265.2004.00264.x .
  • Pierpaolo Genova: La chiesa armena cattolica al Concilio Ecumenico Vaticano II . In: Studi e Ricerche sull'Oriente Cristiano 17 (1994) 29ff.
  • Boghos Levon Zekiyan : Gli armeni cattolici nelle Chiesa armena e nella comunione di Roma . in: Fede e martirio. Le chiese orientali cattoliche nell'Europa del Novecento , Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Rome 2003, 148–172. ISBN 88-209-2783-7 .
  • Guillaume Aral: Les Arméniens catholiques: étude historique, juridique et institutionalnelle, XVIIe-XIXe siècle . Les Éditions de Nicéphore, Nice 2017. ISBN 978-2-9545266-1-4

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The Eastern Catholic Churches 2013. Catholic Near East Welfare Association, accessed January 21, 2015 .
  2. ^ GS Hoffmann: Documenta Concilii Florentini II. De Unione Armenorum . Romae 1935.
  3.*/2/M.html .
  4. Guillaume Aral: Gli Armeni a Roma . In: Roma - Armenia . A cura di Claude Mutafian. De Luca, Roma 1999, 335.
  6. Our Lady of the Assumption Armenian Catholic Church
  7. ^ The Community Stockholm ( Memento from January 21, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  8. ^ Armenian Catholic Congregations ( English ) Archived from the original on March 21, 2012. Retrieved on May 20, 2012.
  9. Apostolic Succession: Titular Seats ( Memento of December 16, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  10. Apostolic Succession: Appointments 1900
  11. Apostolic Succession: Titular Seats ( Memento of October 31, 2012 in the Internet Archive )

Web links

Coordinates: 33 ° 59 ′ 3.7 ″  N , 35 ° 41 ′ 3 ″  E